Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Catch-22: The Gaza Energy Crisis - by Col. (Res.) Grisha Yakubovich

In a guest post exclusive to HonestReporting, Col. (Res.) Grisha Yakubovich, former Head of the Civilian Department in the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, explains the Gaza electricity crisis and its implications for Israel.

Col. (Res.) Grisha Yakubovich..
Guest Post/Honest Reporting..
15 June '17..

The Gaza energy crisis has been in the making for many years and was predictable. In fact, the writing was on the wall ever since Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, 2007.

The simple fact is that while Gaza’s energy needs are 400 to 500 megawatts (MGW) at any given time, the Strip utilizes four different sources of energy to receive a mere 30 percent of its energy needs.

Where the electricity comes from

Ten electricity lines from Israel supply Gaza with 120 to 140 MGW depending on the season, with the assisting lines working to their full capacity.

Within Gaza itself, there is a partially working power plant consisting of four power turbines which require diesel fuel to provide an additional 139 MGW. At present, the diesel entering Gaza from Israel is financed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and only allows for the power plant to provide 20 to 40 MGW.

Two electricity lines provided by Egypt supply an additional 28 to 32 MGW, depending on their capabilities.

The fourth and final source of electricity are individual home solar panels. Though not significant to the total amount of energy, they play an important role to the households of Gaza.

Who pays?

The financing of the electricity supplied by Israel is paid by the PA after Israel deducts the full costs from the PA’s revenues on a monthly basis. This averages around NIS 35 million per month.

Hamas collects the payment from the residents of Gaza, and is obligated to deliver the amount collected to the PA treasury. Not surprisingly, over the past 10 years, that money has not been delivered.

(Continue to Full Post)

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